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seemingly unnatural; so we pass it Find favour in thy sight. O Lord, come over, and give the conclusion of the down, drama.
Burn, and consume the victim. Cain, after a long life of agony and
(Darkness, thunders, and lightnings. Seth.
Brother Cain guilt, lies stretched at last on the very Oh may these horrors spare thee ! grave of the murdered Abel; his fa
Sullen shades ther is beside him, and God is thun, of darkness veil the earth ; thou righteous dering in the sky. The situation is
Heaven, grandly, and sublimely, and terribly From thy avenging bolt the sufferer imagined; and though the execution is Guard in thy mercy,---thou most awful scarcely equal to the design, it certain- night, ly exhibits Mr Lyndsay's power in the That circleth thus our world, and blotteth most favourablelight, and justifies fully all that we have now ventured to say The glories of the day! Th’ unhappyin his praise.
I hear no more the arguish of his cries,
The thunderbolt hath still'd them. Mercy, Is now my place of rest, for never more
Heaven, Shall I forsake that home. This is the bed Where I shall sleep for ever. Hark! there Breaketh above the darkness. O my son,
Have mercy on the fallen. Soft, the day is
Mine elder born, where art thou? Gone,-A voice which whispers to my soul, and
The Eternal hath accorded his sad prayer, Thy wanderings are past, here lie thee
And with the lightning is his being gone. down
He came in misery into the world, For thy last expiation.' God, I pray thee,
In darkness hath departed. Lo! a heap Let got this be a mockery, for thou see'st
Of smoking ashes, on the mouldering bones How all reject me. It is thy decree,
Of the first sleeper lies ; it is the last And now I murmur not; but, if thy will
Sad remnant of the slayer ; the grieved Summon me not, I shall devoted stand
earth Alone again, the outcast of the earth, The loathed of all her sons. My strength Devours the murderer, he is entomb’d
Refuseth him a grave, the fiery doom
By that which hath consumed him ; he And the dark fiend that doth beset my
hath been Whispers me of despair. Oh, help me,
Still sacred to his God, and sacredly
The wrath-devoted dies. May we to dust The spurn’d of all, I turn me back to thee!
Commit those ashes ? No! the winds of Give me not up to hell. My punishment
Heaven, Hath mighty been, and miglitily I have
The breath of the Almighty stirs them Borne the severe decree. My bloody hands,
from Now purified by sufforing, I upraise
Their resting-place, and scatters them From that deep bed where the slain victim
Cain's atoms rise,--no more a heap of Unto thine eye---avert it not, O God !
dust, The red stain is effaced! Oh, look down,
But mingled with creation. Air, earth, Look down with mercy on me ;---if my
Take each your several offerings !”. Have been an expiation,---if my soul
We have given copious quotations Be scourged not as my body, but may rest, from this poem, that our readers might Cured of its wounds, upon thy healing have before them enough of Mr Lynd
breast, Then call me from this earth ---arm thy say to decide on his merits. We do not right hand
fear to say, that he is a poet with much With thy tremendous bolt, and strike me feeling and no little imagination. His dead !
chief fault is a dim and misty splenCome, vivid lightning, spare no more this dour indiscriminately flung over all his head,
conceptions, by which the very eye of But crumble it to cinders, and upon the mind is dazzled, and from which Thy wing of glory, bear my mounting it would fain seek relief. There is no
soul, To seek for pardon at th’ Almighty's simplicity; for soft, tender, and care
; throne. Come, God of justice---God of mercy, now
and nothing like delineation of chaa Accept the sacrifice I place upon
racter ;-neither is there much curious This grave
become thine altar; thou didst or profound knowledge of passion; and spurn
the poet is sometimes weakest when The first I offer'd, let this one, this last, he ought to be most strong. But Mr
Lyndsay conceives situations very fine- Deluge is conceived in a very awful ly' and originally; his diction is often mood of the imagination ;-vast and magnificent, and his imagery striking dark images of horror and crime, like ånd appropriate ; he seems to write in the shadows and the gloom of storms, a sort of tumult and hurry of young move around the scene, and suggest delight, and therefore is often insensi associations of terror, far more thrilling ble to the monotony and even dulness than the most distinct portraiture of of long passages, which sorely try the individual character. The Plague of reader in a calm and composed peru. Darkness, and the Last Plague, have sal ; he pitches his tone too high, and already adorned our pages. Rizpah, walks too much on stilts ; his bad pas- as a delineation of the craze of grief, sages, accordingly, are extravagant, is full of strong and affecting touches bombastical, and not to be read at all; of pathos. The description of the but when the situation of his person- silent spirit of Saul hovering round ages is pathetic or sublime, Mr Lynd- the bodies of his sacrificed children, say is often most effective; and we cannot be thought on without painful have no doubt that we have quoted sentiments of sympathy and sorrow. enough to prove, that if a young wri- In Sardanapalus, the author will ter, which can scarcely be doubted, again be brought into comparison with high hopes may be justly formed of Byron. In his conception of the situhim who, in a first attempt, has pro- ation, we doubt if the noble poet will duced so much poetry true to nature, be found to have surpassed him. In the and belonging to the highest province appropriate expression of passion, Mr of imagination.
Lyndsay is not so successful, though Prefixed to this volume, we find the here and there he darts gleams of the following Advertisement:
intensest feeling, and at times puts
such energy into the kindled heroism “ It may be necessary for me to say of Sardanapalus, that his soul appears something respecting the singular coincidence of my having chosen the same sub- sparkling and glowing beneath the jects as Lord Byron for two of my Dramas. falling of his fortunes like the thunI entreat permission to assert, and credit derbolts under the hammers of the when I do assert, that it is entirely acci- Cyclops. dental : that my Dramas were written long But Sardanapalus is here a full before Lord Byron's were announced, — formed hero,-already he has been the before I could have had any idea that his Hector of battles, and the young brilliant pen was engaged upon the Drama voluptuary is almost forgotten in the at all. The inferiority of the execution of stern and gallant soldier. The inmine may perhaps lead me to regret that I have selected the same subjects, otherwise
terest is in consequence weakened I never can lament any coincidence with that he will perish gloriously; and he
can anticipate from the first, the admired Author of Manfred and Childe is introduced to us as claiming and Harolde.” The coincidence certainly is very
meriting our sympathy. singular; and the overpowering influ- would have been to have shewn him
What a triumph of dramatic art it ence of Byron's name may prevent full in his state of abasement, and to have justice being done to Mr Lyndsay. But exhibited the first stirrings of his lawe are greatly mistaken if his Lordship himself will not admire many
tent energy, gradually developing all
his powerö, till the whole splendour things in these first productions of a
and pride of his nature had burst out youthful muse, at once modest and into that confiagration of spirit, with ámbitious. Our extracts have been which he at once met and avenged his wholly from one Drama—not because doom. We know not, indeed, in the we think it absolutely the best, but whole range of human passion, any that the public might judge of the incident so calculated to produce the force of the poet's mind in its conti- noblest stage-effect, than the moment nuous flow. The conception of the when Sardanapalus, awakened to the state of Cain is beyond doubt very ter, danger and greatness of his situation, rible and poetical, and has occupied roused himself, and bade the writer's mind almost to the exclusion of all other permanent thoughts
66 The weak wanton Cupid or feelings. But perhaps readers, ac- -Unloose his amorous fold, cording to their peculiar tastes, will And, like a dew.drop from the lion's mane, prefer some of the other pieces. The Be shook to air.”
CAPTAIN COCHRANE, AND THE NORTH-EAST CAPE OF A81A. In a late number of the Quarterly Re- On the 6th of May, 1820, he adview, we were informed that Henry dressed the Russian Government on Dundas Cochrane, a commander in the the subject of his intended journey, British Navy, had set out from St Pe- stating that he wished to travel in the tersburgh, under theauspices of the Im- eastern parts of the Empire ;-his atperial Government, to proceed through tempt to be considered as that of an the interior of Russia to the East of individual unauthorised by his own Asia, with the view of ascertaining Government, and requesting, whether the “ North East Cape” was 1st; Not to be molested on his jourreally a Cape, or part of a continuous ney. neck' of land, by many supposed to 2d, Assistance and protection if reunite the two Continents of Asia and quired, and general facilities to be afAmerica. All this we knew, as well forded. as the journal in question; and being 3d, Permission to join the Russian aware of the sources from which the Polar Expedition if he should fall in Reviewer was accustomed to draw his with it, and to accompany it as far as information on all matters connected he might be inclined. with Russian discoveries, we should ne- The Russian Government having, ver have expected any thing in the shape in the handsomest manner, granted of a hoax. The “ respectable corres- him all he asked, the traveller immepondent,” however, succeeded in ma- diately set out, making the best of his king the Quarterly believe that Cap- way to the Ouralian mountains, which tain Cochrane was to perform his jour- our readers will be pleased to cross ney (only 11,000 miles,) on foot ! Yes, along with him, and accompany him to gentle readers, on foot ! and the worthy Tobolsk the capital of Siberia. Reviewer, in the simplicity of his heart, In order more easily to follow him announces it to the world, and is be- in his route from thence, we request lieved by all but the readers of our the reader to sit down with a map of journal, who, as we formerly announ- Asia before him, (Arrowsmith's, pubced, are, fortunately for themselves, lished in 1818, for instance,) and the somewhere under 9-10ths of the read- Magazine in his left hand. ing population of these realms. This Instead of keeping the high road to threw such an air of doubt and ridi- Irkutzk, along the Irtysh as far as cule over the whole matter, that we Tara, Captain C. struck off soon after really began to think the Quarterly leaving Tobolsk, and making the string had condescended to be facetious with of the bow, reached Omsk, where he his readers, or in plain terms, was trots again fell in with the river. From ting them. However, we should not thence he ascended the line of the Irhave thought more of it, but that we tysh for 2000 versts, passing to the were personally and intimately ac- westward of lake Tchany; and skirtquainted with Captain Cochrane, ad- ing the famous country of Gog and mired his spirit of enterprize, and wish- Magog, arrived at Narym, a little viled to rescue his character from a charge lage and rivulet forming at this point of Quixotism; we therefore resolved the line of demarkation between the to make proper inquiry, availing our- empires of Russia and China. Captain selves of that extreme facility we en- C. describes the country around Najoy through the popularity of our rym as being of the most romantic journal, for acquiring information on beauty, and equal, in his opinion, to every subject of interest, foreign or Switzerland. He particularly mentions domestic. Indeed, our readers must the situation of the Fortress Bouchtarhave perceived of late, that, like the minskvi, as of uncommon grandeur. Quarterly Review, and the Steward in Here he embarked, and dropping down the play of the “ Stranger,"_" we the rapid Irtysh to the town of Ubinsk, have our correspondents in the princi- proceeded to view the mines of Izmapal cities of Europe, Asia, Africa, and ova and the works of Barnahoole, with America,” although, hitherto, on ac- which he was much gratified. At this count of our greater modesty (the place he met with his Excellency the usual accompaniment of true desert,) Governor General Speransky, from we have not chosen like them to say so. whom he experienced the most friend.
The following may be regarded as a ly reception. Leaving Barnahoole, he short, but authentic account of Cap- rejoined the high road to Irkutzk at tain Cochrane’s proceedings:
Tomsk, along which he held till he
reached the Baikal (in perfect health) ourselves, we never entertained any on the 123d day after leaving St Peters- doubt of the termination of Asia at burgh ; having traversed 8000 versts Cape North-East. Many have doubtof country. This was at the rate of ed however, even Russians; and it is about 43 miles a-day, which the Quar- gratifying to think that the doubt is terly must allow somewhat to exceed now solved, and by one of that counany thing hitherto recorded in the an- try which has done, and is doing, so nals of pedestrianism.
much for the advancement of geograAt first, it was Captain Cochrane's phical knowledge. intention to have wintered at Irkutzk, From what we have learnt, the rebut he saw reason to change his mind, mote countries through which Captain and embarking on the Lena on the Cochrane has passed are highly inte14th of September, he reached Ju- resting in a geological point of view; kutzk on the 16th of October. Here but we are not aware how far his eduhe found 16 degrees of frost by Réau- cation has fitted him for observation meur, which obliged him to exchange in this department of science. It is the nankeen jacket he had hitherto certain, however, that he acquired an worn for a warmer covering. Quitting extensive and valuable collection of Jakutzk on the 30th of October, he specimens during his stay at Irkutzk; held north-eastward, till on the 30th of and it is confidently reported at St PeDecember, he reached Nijnei Kolyma, tersburgh, that he intends making a in long. 164, where he met the Rus- magnificent present of minerals to the sian Expedition proceeding to the Pole. Museum of the University of EdinThe frost now ranged from 35 to 42 of burgh. Réaumeur. During this journey Cap- Captain Cochrane expresses himself tain C. travelled upwards of 400 miles most gratefully towards the Russian without meeting a human being. government for the truly liberal man
Leaving Nijnei Kolyma, (or Kovy- ner in which he has been treated. ma, as it is written in some of the Everywhere the authorities vied with maps,) Captain C. proceeded to Tchut- each other in shewing him attention. ski fair, where he gained much sa- This is as it should be, and we feel tisfactory geographical information re- pleasure in making it universally specting the north-east of Asia. He known. ascertained the existence of the N. E. Captain C.'s personal habits must Cape. “ All doubts,” he says, “ being have contributed not a little to lessen now solved, not by calculation, but the irksomeness of a journey necessaocular demonstration. Its latitude and rily attended with many and severc longitude are well ascertained, and its hardships. Wherever he went, he seems mineralogical specimens are now by easily to have accommodated himself me.”
to the habits of the people, however Having returned from Kolyma, he rude and disgusting. With the Kalset out for the town of Ochotzk, situ- macks, he eat horse-flesh, elks, and ated on the sea of that name, where he wolves; and with the Tchutski he found arrived, after a most laborious journey as little difficulty in pasturing upon of 75 days. In his last letter, which bears, rein-deer, and raw frozen fish ; is dated from Otchozk, he mentions the last of which, indeed, he calls a his intention of setting out in a few great delicacy! Few of our scientific days for Kamchatka, traversing that men could stomach these cates. The peninsula from south to north, till he stoutest hearted of them are too old, reach Tjigink ; from whence, he says, or (fortunately for themselves, if not he will return to Europe through Asia for science,) " have other fish to fry." by a different route from that he came. There is no saying, however, what He adds, that he will not go to Ame- may happen. if Professor Jameson rica, as it is quite unnecessary.” He could meet with a pupil of bodily expects to be in St Petersburgh in the strength, and zeal for the advancement
of science equal to his own, the young So far as yet appears, Capt. Coch- man might possibly (after four geolorane seems to have acquitted himself gical campaigns with the Professor in well, and deserves to have his name Lord Reay's country,) be found quaplaced on the list of those of his coun- lified for discharging the duty of a trymen who have contributed to the scientific missionary, even at Tchutzstock of geographical science. As for koy Noss.
fall of next year.
ON THE LATE RUMOUR OF A CHANGE OF ADMINISTRATION.
Enter RUMOUR, painted full of Tongues.
Stuffing the ears of men with false reports. The great Alarm of the year 1821 “ Good God !” they exclaimed in one having subsided, and the national voice, “Is it possible that North has actranquillity being in some measure re- cepted the seals of office ?” Bui a man's stored, we find it to be an imperious real character is seldom known even to duty to publish a short Statement of his most intimate friend. Mine, we Facts. A sincere regard for our own frankly confess, was not known to ourcharacter, and forthe peace of the coun- selves. But the time came when it was try, alike impel us to the course we are suddenly revealed to us, as in a dream. now going to pursue. These are the two We felt, that though nature had imobjects that have ever been nearest to bued us with the love of privacy, she our heart ; and after the late unhappy had, at the same time, endowed us agitations, we feel that, in our handswith the power of publicity; and that they are both safer than ever. Indeed precise era in the history of the world the most delightful reward which a having arrived when such a man was patriot can receive for his public ser- necessary to the salvation of his counvices, next to the approbation of his try, and of Europe, we took lodgings own conscience, is that of his country. in Edinburgh, and made Mr BlackRich in both, loaded with years and wood the proprietor and publisher of honours, we can have little more to our Magazine. hope for on this side of the grave. But Of our administration of the affairs that posterity may know the facts, of this country, during the last four without that inixture of fiction which years, we leave posterity to judge. folly and faction ever delight to inter- But having entered into office on a weave with the narrative of great pub- sudden intimation mysteriously conlic transactions, we willingly devote veyed to us of our destiny, and having an afternoon to millions yet unborn, remained at the helm during the most and anticipate, with an unseen smile tempestuous weather that had ever asof solitary satisfaction, the heartfelt sailed the Vessel of the State, gratitude of succeeding generations. seemed to feel the same intimation to
The world will, by this time, be return to our small paternal property aware that we allude to the late Na. near Peebles, and pass the remainder tional Distress, consequent on the Ru- of our life in placid contemplation of mour that we were about to retire that national prosperity so entirely from the Editorship of Blackwood's created by ourselves. Nor, in doing Magazine.
so, were we either in want of examples It is true that we had sent in our of similar conduct in other first-rate resignation. Nor, on the calmest and men, nor of arguments in our favour most impartial consideration of our mo- much nearer home. For to omit mentives, can we detect in them one feel- tion of the numerous kings, statesing or one thought which a philoso- men, and warriors, who, in the decline pher and a philanthropist, such as we or even prime of life, had retired to are, need blush to own. The truth is, some quiet nook of the land, which that nature intended us for private ra- by their wisdom or valour they had ther than for public life; and they who saved, the chalk-stones in the foreknew us during the first fifty years of finger of our right hand, like those our existence, may recollect their as- which annoyed Milton, greatly intonishment on our accepting the situ- creased in size, and rendered the opeation of Prime Editor of Great Britain. ration of writing painful in the ex-,
* Blackwood's Magazine.